Tom Harrell continues to astound audiences and Trip may arguably come in as his finest work!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Doesn't seem that long but Tom Harrell burst onto the scene in 1969. The success of any Tom Harrell recording would been to be based on the fact that each band operates with a lyrical synergy. Harrell writes for the band, not just himself. The end result of the creative process for Harrell would be that of an artistic collective built on synergy and anchored on an ever shifting harmonic foundation. This particular incarnation of his quintet include the prolific style of Mark Turner on sax and rising star drummer Adam Cruz. The band has never sounded better!
Trip does come with a set of instructions as tracks 3-8 are to be enjoyed in one sitting. This multi-movement suite was commissioned by Dave Douglas and is for lack of better explanation, an improvisational riff on Don Quixote. The results are stunning. While the rhythm section of drummer Adam Cruz and bassist Ugonna Okegwo are the soul pumpkins keeping the ship afloat, Mark Turner provides the perfect lyrical counterpoint on tunes such as "Sunday" and "Coming Home." Harrell did admit the tune "Cycle" was a tune he did for himself, after all there was be no person more qualified to understand any potential limitations that the artist.
Tom Harrell has broad musical vision which keeps expanding and churning out fresh new harmonic paths to discover. One of those rare releases that is as close to perfect as one can get.
Tracks: Sunday; Cycle; The Adventures of A Quixotic Character (3-8); Coming Home; Coastline; After The Game Is Over There.